President and Political Scientist: Higher Ed Should Increase Its Role of Supporting Refugees

Havidán Rodríguez and Rey Koslowski
Havidán Rodríguez (left) and Rey Koslowski

ALBANY, N.Y. (June 16, 2022) — “The human rights fallout from the collapse of the Afghan government foreshadowed the staggering wave of displacement that would soon follow Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — both important reminders as we approach World Refugee Day on June 20 that colleges and universities can and should play a central role in aiding the world’s most vulnerable people,” wrote President Rodríguez and Professor of Political Science Rey Koslowski of Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy in an op-ed published in the Times Union June 12.

The two wrote in support of a program in development by the Biden administration that would allow universities, businesses, clubs and faith groups to sponsor and support refugees coming to the United States. This change would open a channel for refugees who want to study in the United States — the existing visa for international students requires proof that the applicant can meet all costs and does not intend to immigrate.

“Campuses like ours often talk about internationalization in terms of partnerships with prestigious overseas universities. But it also means opening our doors to those fleeing violence and instability abroad and who, like so many before them, have sought refuge in New York,” Rodríguez and Koslowski wrote.